U.S. Grand Prix, Laguna Seca: Bridgestone Qualifying Review
Current MotoGP™ championship leader Jorge Lorenzo will start on pole position at the United States Grand Prix after the Spaniard set a new lap record of 1’20.554 on the Yamaha Factory Racing M1 in qualifying at Laguna Seca.
Lorenzo broke the existing pole position record – set by Casey Stoner in 2008 – earlier in the session before Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner moved to P1 when he also went under his old mark with a few minutes remaining in the session. However, Lorenzo took pole position on his very last lap to relegate Stoner to P2 ahead of his teammate Dani Pedrosa who rounded out the front row. Randy de Puniet qualified in eleventh position, with the Frenchman continuing the dominance of the Power Electronics Aspar team among the CRT entries during qualifying.
This morning’s FP3 session was subjected to heavy fog which kept track temperatures low and reduced grip levels due to the high moisture levels. Only a few riders took to the track until the end of the session when the cloud started to lift and more riders ventured out. Just like yesterday, track conditions in the afternoon were much better with sunshine and track temperatures in the low-40°C range for the one hour qualifying session. For qualifying, most riders used the combination of the softer rear and harder front slick for better drive out of corners and improved front-end stability when setting their best lap times.
The next session for the United States Grand Prix will be Morning Warm Up at 0940 local time (GMT -7) tomorrow and the thirty-two lap race is scheduled to start at 1400.
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 – Dry. Ambient 14-14°C; Track 19-25°C (Bridgestone measurement)
QP – Dry. Ambient 17-18°C; Track 40-43°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Track conditions today were similar to yesterday, with cloud cover in the morning and clear skies in the afternoon. However, the cloud this morning was much heavier so many riders chose not to go out on circuit until right at the end of FP3 so track time was somewhat limited today. It was clear from yesterday’s and today’s sessions that most riders prefer the harder front slick option so I expect this to be the popular choice for tomorrow’s race, though rear tyre choice at this stage is not as clear cut with both the softer and harder rear slicks viable options for tomorrow’s race. I anticipate that many teams will wait until tomorrow afternoon and make a decision on rear tyre choice depending on what the track temperature is just before the race.”
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport Press Release